BUSINESS

Impact from port strikes is growing

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Tourism

More than 9,700 cruise ship passengers who expect to dock in Piraeus this Saturday on eight cruise ships are hostage to the extended strike by port workers.

The industrial action by unionists, which has already exceeded three weeks, is culminating ahead of Piraeus Port Authority’s (OLP) extraordinary general meeting  on Friday for the approval of the contract for OLP’s concession to Cosco Pacific. The situation is evolving into a major economic loss for the Athens-listed corporation, and an even greater blow to the efforts of both Piraeus and the country in general to attract more cruise liners.

Holland America Line, a Carnival Corporation subsidiary, is scheduled to have three of its cruise vessels dock in Piraeus on Saturday. It has already sent a letter to OLP and Cosco warning it could exclude Piraeus from its itineraries in the future and calling on the authorities to find a solution.

This warning follows others from operators such as TUI Cruises, and those sent to the government by sector associations. Experts estimate that the total losses up to this weekend alone from the continued action of Piraeus port workers will come close to 20 million euros for all parties involved, while the stain on the Piraeus brand is huge.
 

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